Fulham goalkeeper Tony Warner is hoping to see some action for Trinidad & Tobago at Loftus Road – if only to make sure his father has not had a wasted trip.
The Liverpool-born keeper has received his first international call-up for the Soca Warriors’ friendly with Iceland.
Warner’s father, who was born in Trinidad, will be travelling to London for the occasion, but with West Ham’s Shaka Hislop and Coventry’s Clayton Ince also in the squad, he does not know if he will be handed his international debut.
“My dad’s made up,” Warner said. “He’ll be coming down for the game with my mother and some more of my family, so hopefully I’ll be involved at some stage.”
Warner travelled to Trinidad on three occasions to visit his father’s side of the family, long before there was any hint of an international call-up, and insists it was an easy decision to commit to their national team.
“They phoned me three months ago and put the question to me, and it didn’t really take much to think about,” he said.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to be involved in a World Cup environment. It betters myself, and hopefully I’ll better the team. The decision wasn’t a hard one to make.
“I’ve been brought up in Liverpool and lived there for 25 years before moving down to London, so yes, I’m English, but I’m half Trinidadian as well, so I do feel a connection to both,” he added.
Warner is now 31 but it is only this season that he has been given the chance to prove himself in the Premiership, which he has done with a string of impressive performances in the Fulham goal.
And the former Liverpool trainee accepts that his summer move from Cardiff may have played a big factor in finally getting international recognition.
“Sometimes teams have a look around and have scouts around to see who’s available, and then see who they want to call up, and I’d say being at Fulham has increased my chances,” he said.
“I always wanted to test myself in the Premiership. It hasn’t happened until now, and I think I’m doing alright, I’m happy to be there and I think I can hold my own there.”
After achieving that, Warner has now set his sights on making it into the final 23 for the World Cup, but he knows he faces stiff competition from Hislop, Ince and Kelvin Jack, number one for the last World Cup qualifiers and left out through injury.
“It’s a long way off and we know things can change, but just this small step of being involved at the moment is fine by me,” said Warner, who has also played for Millwall.
“Obviously the bigger picture is to play (in Germany) and I think that’s the goal for everybody in the squad.
“It’ll be dependent on club form, training with the national squad and games, but we’ll just give it 100% and leave the decisions up to the decision makers.”